Boston North Shore Study

Regional Saugus River Floodgate Project - Everett, Lynn, Malden, Revere and Saugus, Massachusetts

MEPA Certificate & Issues

MEPA Certificate  2-20-1990

After final review of the Project’s Environmental Impact Report, the Secretary of Environmental Affairs stated: 

“..project adequately & properly complies with MEPA”. (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act)

“the question is whether this project represents sound policy and is one for which state funds should be expended.”

 “..I and ..state agencies will resolve in the near term.”

Among the important issues are : 


Issues Summarized for CZM et al. are below and MEPA Certificate Response follows.



Issue #1– Marsh Vitality

CZM: Stopping peak flooding of marsh will shift composition.

MEPA Response: All marsh is below El. 7 ft. ngvd.  Gate closure at El. 7 when all marsh is inundated & runoff peaks above El. 7 with wind results in minimizing impacts.

Issue #2:  Marsh Buildup

CZM:  Storm sediment is crucial to marsh survival with sea level rise.

MEPA Response:  Estuary located behind developed barrier beach which limits quantity of sand.  Sand source from river system will not change.

Issue #3– Wetland Mitigation

CZM: State policy requires greater than one to one compensation.

MEPA Response: Concur. Wetland protection act allows DEP to rule on this.

Issue #4:  Facility Changes Due to Sea Level Rise

CZM:  Concern that structure will be  modified for SLR.

MEPA Response:  Structure will be designed so changes up to 3 or 4 feet can be accommodated.

Issue #5– Evacuation/Flood Proofing

CZM: Evacuation & flood proofing are viable options.

MEPA Response: Flooding events in this estuary are difficult to predict in time to allow orderly evacuation.

Issue #6:  Facility Management

CZM:  Concern that state, not Corps of Engineers, would manage project.

MEPA Response:  It is acceptable that state manage operation & maintenance.

Issue #7– State Local Funding

CZM: Concern for state & local funding.

MEPA Response: Expect split in responsibility for communities that benefit be resolved prior to state commitment.

Issue #8:  Acquisition of Flood Storage Lands

CZM:  Land acquisition may not occur.

MEPA Response:  Land acquisition is part of the program and must occur.

Issue #9– Section 61 Findings

CZM: Draft section 61 findings is required.

MEPA Response: Absence is not fatal and should be prepared by state sponsor.

Issue #10:  Generic Environmental Impact Report

CZM:  Should require a GEIR along state coastline in response to sea level rise before state decision to participate in project.

MEPA Response:  Conditions in this estuary are not typical of our coastline, and this project is not the proper vehicle for that review.


Issue: Project Stoppage

Following a meeting with Sec. Trudy Coxe, Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, who refused to renew support for the project and who opposed construction along the coast--an MDC letter, 8-31-93, was received stating:  “ The commonwealth must consider more fully nonstructural alternatives..before making a final decision about participating in and permitting the project.”

Thus, the Corps of Engineers placed the project on an inactive status pending renewed support from the commonwealth.


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